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The Role of Social Class in “The Great Gatsby” Essay

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Throughout the novel The Great Gatsby, there is a constant theme present: social class. Fitzgerald makes a connection between the theme of social class, and the settings in the novel for example The Valley of Ashes which is described as a “desolate area of land” (p.21) and a “solemn dumping ground” (p.21) which is where the poor people live. The Valley of Ashes is situated between West Egg and New York, West Egg being the place where the aspiring classes are situated, which is the “less fashionable of the two” (p.8), this is where Gatsby lives. West Egg is the place of ‘new money’, Fitzgerald shows this by the idea of the main character Jay Gatsby, rumoured to be selling illegal alcohol (prohibition) which means he is quickly making vast…show more content…
“And a whole clan named Blackbuck, who always gathered in the corner and flipped up their noses like goats at whosoever came near.” (p.49) another setting described in the novel is New York City, a ‘mixing pot’ of all of the social classes. But also the setting for Tom and Myrtle’s apartment “The living room was crowded to the doors with a set of tapestried furniture entirely too large for it” (p.25). This is in contrast to an upper classes house for example “A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end, and out at the other like pale flags” (p.10) because this quote is explaining the proximity of space within the house, unlike Tom and Myrtle’s apartment which is ‘crowded’ and ‘furniture entirely too large’ it shows what money can buy, i.e. if you are upper class and have more money then you can buy a ‘oversized’ house, but if you are of the lower class then you can only afford a ‘crowded’ and compact house/apartment.
Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby’s relationship was damaged by their contrasting social classes, but also because he had a lack of status and wealth. In relation to this Daisy married Tom for his wealth and status not for his love, which suggests Daisy is a materialistic character is more concerned about her money and possessions than she is about intellectual and spiritual objects. “Gatsby is an idealist, he seeks for
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